Editorial: Resolution Row

At the six-month mark of its term, the honeymoon might be over for the Loudoun Board of Supervisors.

During their past two meetings, the important work of the local government leaders has been overshadowed by partisan battles over hot-button issues that have little impact on areas for which they have responsibilities.

Unfortunately, this type of side-show is nothing new. A Democratic-majority board once made national headlines by adopting a resolution declaring Loudoun as a Nuclear-free Zone. The immediate past board, with all Republican members, added its voice to the national debate by adopting a resolution opposing Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. Although it is true that to this day there are no nuclear power plants or nuclear weapons manufacturing facilities in the county, you’d be hard-pressed to argue that either resolution resulted in more impact than controversy.

At each board meeting, supervisors are presented resolutions declaring it to be Such and Such Month. Over the years, some boards issued the ceremonial proclamations sparingly; others seemingly at every opportunity. One supervisor—not wanting to be put in the position of supporting some ceremonial declarations, but voting against others with which he had objections—simply adopted a policy not vote on or sign any of them.

That may be an approach others concerned about becoming involved in frivolous battles may want to consider. One current proposal is to prevent controversial resolutions from making it to a floor vote by requiring endorsement by a majority of members in advance. Giving six Republican members behind-the-scenes veto power over three Democrats is unlikely to de-politicize the disagreements.

As we move closer to November’s presidential election, there will be more pressure on the political leaders in Virginia’s key swing county to help sway voter opinion in favor of their party’s candidate. Supervisors have too much important work on their plates to take on those distractions.

12 thoughts on “Editorial: Resolution Row

  • 2016-06-30 at 1:31 pm

    Such obvious good advice will likely go unheeded. Most individuals run for this office to engage in silly political arguments.

    It was none other than the author of the Dillon rule that pointed this out: those least “fitted, by their intelligence, business experience, capacity, and moral character, for local governors“. Umstattd, Randall, Raines: if the shoe fits….

  • 2016-07-01 at 9:38 am

    Well, at least, Mr. Styers, you can say you are liked by Virginia sgp. But for me, found your opinion piece a bit more instructive than you intended. After all, since we should, as you suggest, prioritize our views on things, and only address those truly important to us, the local residents of Loudoun County, I think a parallel can be found here. I have now received three local newspapers, of late. The Loudoun Times-Mirror, something called Loudoun Tribune, and Loudoun Now. All contain local news. Clearly, we do not need that needless redundancy. Instead, we the readers of local news should not have our minds cluttered with so much extra reading material. So, since a paper called Loudoun Times-Mirror, or even The Tribune, sound so important much more than something called Now – that I think you should ponder whether you should just shut down Loudoun Now, since it is redundant, and simply adds little to what we the readers should have to face when we decide which local newspaper to pick up to read.

  • 2016-07-01 at 9:47 pm

    I think Lawgh brings up an important issue. Lawgh is basically suggesting that if the editors of a newspaper don’t suppress views at odds with Lawgh’s philosophy, that paper will be ignored. We already see the filter bubble on internet news aggregators, but this threat of extortion is much more serious.

    First, most of the articles in a newspaper are not opinion pieces. To reject a newspaper out of hand simply because its editorial board doesn’t agree with you is silly.

    But the bigger question is whether our local officials are extorting these papers. I’ve wondered why none of the papers will run a story on the precedent setting civil rights case against CA Jim Plowman. The Univ of Florida professor cited by both sides indicated this was a novel case that will surely set national precedent. Surely it would interest a small town newspaper. But none have printed any such stories.

    Neither have the papers reported on the gross overestimation of teacher step increases (60% or $6M/year), or the conflicts of interest of Hornberger and Turgeon, or the other abuses by the Commonwealth Attorney or LCPS. When asked, I was told it was a “business decision”. In other words, it is likely that LCPS and LCA have told the papers if they report on these stories, consider their access to other information gone.

    It will be an interesting conversation in federal court. A prior free speech case centered on whether retaliation against a small town paper would chill free speech. In this case, it appears there may be direct evidence that it has already chilled the willingness to report on corruption. The liberals (Lawgh) just demonstrated how far they will go to punish any dissident opinions. And they call themselves “liberal”… what a joke.

  • 2016-07-04 at 9:52 am

    Gee, Mr. Styles, I had no idea you had passed the torch of comment to another. Anyway, my point still stands. Why is it that an opinion piece can advocate what we, as citizens of Loudoun County, should or should not discuss? A priori censorship, perhaps? The old movie line, ‘move on, nothing to see here’ cannot ring any truer. And it can also be pointed out that Loudoun TImes Mirror actually took the time to present this whole topic in the form of an article, about the bigotry of our local delegate. But not here.

    • 2016-07-04 at 12:28 pm

      Is Lawgh kidding? Ever heard of rules of order? They define how meetings are conducted and what bills can be considered. Or maybe you are ok with no rules (but only when the Democrats don’t control Congress, eh?).

      But the 3 progressives on the board can use their own discretionary time to discuss anything they want. They can celebrate Loudoun being a “nuclear-free zone” (despite that fact that we have dozens of nuclear naval ships protecting their freedom in US ports and around the world). The 3 progressives can hold town halls and rallies to get all the minority special interest groups to say “hey, come look at me. I DEMAND your respect and approval.” I would urge a word of caution to the progressives though as many of their special interest groups don’t even approve of each other.

      But a board of supervisors doesn’t have infinite time. Thus rules. Don’t like em? Vote to change the supervisors. The whole resolution thing is mostly silly patronization to curry votes. I wish it was limited to one proclamation per month at most.

      As to the “a priori censorship”, something I know a little about from the unconstitutional actions of the Loudoun school board. It’s rather ironic that the successor of the Leesburg Today now implements less censorship on these boards than LTM. LTM regularly censors comments on its Facebook page and forums. If it doesn’t like the viewpoint, it’s gone. The bandwidth/inventory on these pages is not limited like the time at a BOS meeting. Yet, I’m sure Lawgh approves of opposing viewpoints being deleted/banned. That’s the kind of person Lawgh is. Unwilling to protect freedom but darn willing to deny it to those who disagree. When I see you advocate for a “Fat/Obese pride month” or a “short person pride month” or a “Caucasian Pride month”, then I will know you are serious (btw, none of these deserve any proclamations either). Until then, everyone will just keep laughing at your irrational protestations.

  • 2016-07-04 at 4:35 pm

    Now I am laughing so hard, I can hardly contain myself. The Great Defender of Loudoun Now (at least, I presume she or he is defending Loudoun Now, since she or he attacked it for not running all of her or his “stories”). In the very old days, one dried their cloths outside, and when it got windy, the cloths twisted in the wind. And twisting in the wind, is just what is happening with the Great Defender’s comments. I truly can say, that the Great Defender, as well as the original Opinion, still pretend outrage about something, by, you guessed, it, demanding censorship rights, so that we, the residents of Loudoun County, can’t discuss things important to us. Well, I for one will continue to demand the right to speak out, even in the face of threats by the Great Defender.

    • 2016-07-04 at 8:18 pm

      Lawgh, you are not very good at this logic think, are you?

      1. Nobody is outraged except for a bunch of political hacks who think the public can’t see through their transparent attempts to inaccurately label others as intolerant.

      2. Yes, Loudoun Now has suppressed certain stories. I’m guessing their “business decision” (exact quote) was due to shady behavior by public officials who threatened the loss of access (yet more evidence of the chilling of free speech by LCPS and LCAO). But LN is not blocking you or anyone else from posting comments here (unlike LTM) or writing your own letter to the editor. You got your discussion (or rather echo chamber) on Facebook. Most ignore you.

      3. Nobody is blocking ANY supervisor from talking about LGBT at the end of board meetings, from marching, or from trying to shock the conscience with their material or clothing. Have at it. I think most folks really couldn’t care less.

      4. Judge Dillon was very wise in restricting the powers of local officials (you clearly demonstrate why). Since local boards have no control over LGBT rights, it’s silly to waste time.

      But hey, Lawgh, I think you need to turn your attention to greener pastures. As you can tell, nobody really cares what LGBT folks do so they are clearly not oppressed. But I can tell you one group who is oppressed, or as you might say… misunderstood. NAMBLA definitely experiences prejudice and discrimination. And just like some LGBT behavior used to be illegal, maybe you can help them socialize their views so they won’t face “oppression” and “discrimination” in the future. After that, you can turn your attention to Zoophilia. I’m sure Richard Gere will be right there with you.

      I guess you are just soooo frustrated because you can’t get your little pet cause discussed at the all-powerful Loudoun BOS meeting. And I’m twisting in the wind because my case was published on WaPo’s front page, on Yahoo News, on two state-wide editorials, NPR, etc. But the best part yet is that these court opinions will set precedent to be used for years to come. My only regret is that I couldn’t be listed as Virginia SGP (instead of my real name) so the focus could remain on the issue: “progressives” protecting ineffective teachers who literally destroy the chances for disadvantaged students to have productive careers. Now that is the real tragedy.

  • 2016-07-06 at 1:44 pm

    This editorial is exactly correct; the board has wasted three business meetings not working to resolve crowding in the schools, nor nightmarish traffic congestion, or streamlining local government for the benefit of Loudoun’s taxpaying homeowners and business.

    Instead of figuring out how to attract real jobs to Loudoun, partisans on the board are expending our time and effort to support Putsch style gun control schemes aimed at depriving Loudoun residents of their Due Process protections.

    Rather than standing on VDOT and Richmond’s desks, demanding progress to deal the goat ropes known as Rt. 15 north, Rt. 9, Syclon Road, Waxpool, the 50 corridor, and countless other traffic traps across Loudoun, the board expends effort over the name of a month.

    It’s all a distraction. All of this is meant to divert your attention away from the day and day issues we endure, and which this board is not facing head-on with aggressive and innovative tactics. We want results.

    Mr. Lawgh… three newspapers are just too much reading for you, eh? Not surprising from someone intolerant of any ideas failing to fit their limited, political party dictated, world view.

  • 2016-07-06 at 3:15 pm

    Hi, Chris, my very good friend. But, since you feel that much time was wasted, please point out exactly what county issues were not discussed at any of the last three meetings, because of the question of resolutions. Nice to “claim” something (read: make things up) when you want to, but please, give us specific examples. Show us the agenda items that could not be discussed. Until then, just keep on keeping on.

  • 2016-07-06 at 5:49 pm

    Since you brought it up Mr. Lawgh,why don’t you enlighten us. Was any effort to relieve the horrific traffic congestion addressed, and if so, what was the result benefiting taxpayers? Funny how that wasn’t in any of the overwhelming number of newspapers in Loudoun.

    Perhaps they missed that part about efficiency in government, and the results of that effort? Nope, all of the massive papers missed that too.

    How about an effort to go down the road and work with the School Board to address overcrowding in classrooms and coordinate for the benefit of residents like reasonable people do? No? People have their fiefdoms I reckon.

    The editorial is correct. Solve the issues that Loudoun homeowners face, and enough with the silly proclamations.

  • 2016-07-06 at 7:57 pm

    Lawgh, it’s not just a time issue but an attention issue. Visit Loudoun and One Loudoun are attempting to get the taxpayers to pay for a corporate subsidy on their behalf. The “sportsplex” proffer in exchange for 700 townhomes is not only worth less in construction cost that the service costs of the townhome rezoning, but it only benefits the businesses here in Loudoun. Not the residents who pay most of the taxes. Has any attention been devoted to that while the silly proclamation “scandal” erupted?

    If the hotels, restaurants, and transient business want to raise their own taxes to pay for the sportplex as Round Rock, TX did, that’s fine. If they want to convince the BOS to raise taxes and pay annual operating costs for what amounts to a marketing investment for them, that’s fine. What’s not ok is hiding the true cost of the sportsplex and distracting the public with silly “pride months” so that no sustained attention can be placed on such serious issues.

    I realize you probably think the world revolves around who “shows respect” for all the various special interests in the world. It does not. Most citizens care about jobs, taxes, traffic, schools, etc. Not whether somebody is forced to honor them.

  • 2016-07-07 at 11:12 am

    700 new town homes… in exchange for a “sportsplex?” Unbelievable. And exactly the sort of bad deal our board would fall for. As if the world, and Loudoun County needed just 700 more town homes.
    Build your own sportsplex on your own dime rich one percenter developers. If it’s so great, then it will be successful and produce a profit. If not, taxpayers won’t be on the hook for your tab.
    Isn’t that reasonable Mr. Lawgh ? At least join with us in condemning the thieving of Loudoun homeowners yet again.

    We’re still packing 10 pounds of stuff into a 5 pound bag, with the resulting decline in the quality of life for all. And what is the board talking about? Stripping Loudoun Residents of their Due Process protections, and the name of a month.

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